If you’re a gardener, you’re familiar with the color-coded map on the back of seed packets and plant tags. The USDA Hardiness Zone Map informs us which plants can handle the winter in your area. But here in Miami, it’s not the cold that concerns us.
Heat plays a significant role in the health of our plants. That’s why it’s important to reference the heat zone map for Miami gardeners. It was developed by the American Horticultural Society (AHS).
The heat zone map is divided into 12 zones based on how many days the mercury reaches above 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
The current heat map shows the average summer extreme temperatures. Global temperatures are rising, so we’ll likely see our temperatures climbing above the 86 degree mark more often. Why should we care? Because the occasional heat damage our native plants suffer is going to get worse. In fact, we may soon be in a different heat zone altogether.
Gardening in a Changing Climate
When you are designing your landscape or just planting a few trees, try to incorporate more shade to help your other plants stay cool and healthy. Other things to consider are mulch types and fertilizers.
What’s The Best Grass Type For Miami Lawns?
Our lawn is the most sensitive part of our yard when it comes to heat. If you aren’t careful, a heatwave can scorch your grass leaving it brown and prickly. Here are a few examples of some heat tolerant grasses that are great for Miami lawns.
St. Augustine Grass
A great turfgrass with a high tolerance for heat and drought. St. Augustine is a fast grower… making it great for lawns. But it does require regular aeration, and it’s not fond of foot traffic.
Buffalograss is an extremely hardy grass and one of the only drought-resistant grasses in the country. It’s not as sensitive as St. Augustine grass and can tolerate heavy foot traffic.
Another traffic tolerant grass is Bermuda grass. It can flourish in all soil types. It does not do well in cold temperatures and is sensitive to shade and pests.
Before you start planning your landscape check the heat zone map for Miami gardeners to determine what kinds of plants will do best in your area.
Need help deciding what to plant or what type of grass will thrive in your area? Visit our Miami lawn care page for more info! We offer one-stop shopping for all your landscaping needs. or all your landscaping needs.
Feature image: Miami Botanical Gardens, Wikimedia